Things I have learned from LGBT friends and family

14 11 2012

As a straight person, I have learned a lot from LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) people. Probably the most important thing I have learned is that it is OK to not know all the right words or terminology. I used to be afraid, and still am at times, that I will say something offensive. I can honestly say that even speaking the word “lesbian” felt awkward and uncomfortable for me at first. It is now a normal part of speech around our house, but it never used to be.

As a straight person who had never been around or interacted with LGBT people – I sometimes feel as if I have entered a different universe. The truth is – they are not much different from the rest of us in every area – except who they love. There really is not some big chasm between all of us – at the root of it all, we are all just people doing the best we can with the hand we have been dealt. So, if you wonder something 0r want to know  something – Just ask!! They would much be asked than us just make our own assumptions.

I have learned quite a bit about myself – that I have a lot of insecurities and things that I see as flaws that I try to cover up or hide – that others find just fine in me. Much like a LGBT person being accepted for exactly who they are at this moment – that is what I want too. I am far from perfect, I take things too personally, I overreact sometimes, I have a temper and say nasty things, I judge people by outward appearances. All of these stem from experiences of feeling rejected and feeling like I wasn’t good enough at different times in my past. We all have our traumas and negative life experiences to work through and heal from. The beginning of this healing has to start with us accepting ourselves, that doesn’t mean we just make excuses and stay stuck – but it does mean we forgive ourselves when we mess up and try to learn from it.

I have seen so many friends struggle with accepting their sexuality and accepting who they are. I have heard so many talk about all the years they prayed that God would take their same-sex attractions away and make them straight. There are enough horror stories out there about all the of “pray away the gay” programs that we all know they are a farce. One’s sexuality is inherent and who they are – it can not be “cured”. It is amazing to watch a person blossom once they begin to accept who they are and love themselves anyway. The healing begins and they begin to grow into the beautiful person they are designed to be.

I think that is what we all need – to love ourselves, no matter our sexual orientation or what our past traumas or issues are. We can forgive those who have hurt us, not for their sake, but for ours, quit beating ourselves up and trying to fit the molds that society is trying to put us in, and begin to love ourselves right now today! Let the healing begin and we can begin to grow into the lovely people who are lurking inside just waiting to be shown to the world.

You are beautiful – right now today – gay or straight, fat or thin, old or young – our beauty is what is deep inside of us and spills out onto the rest of the world. Let’s start letting beauty and acceptance of ourselves and others overflow all over the world. It will change us and those around us – we should being right now!

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